Gastronomy in Latin America and the Caribbean, a Cultural Mix

February 19, 2024 Hour: 6:52 pm

Latin American and Caribbean gastronomy is a labyrinth as complex as its geography. The gastronomy of the region is nothing more than the result of a crossroads of peoples, a fusion of ethnic, cultural and social elements that creates a delicious blend of flavors.

Latin America, Heir to Arab Heritage

We find a mixture of ingredients contributed by indigenous peoples, Africans, Spanish conquistadors and European and Asian immigrants who drew the first traces of what is known today as Latin American cuisine. 

Talking about popular dishes in the region, it is essential to talk about Mexico, a country with a cuisine full of aromas: spicy ingredients stand out, being the so-called Tacos one of the most famous dishes. Of Arabic Shawarma origin, it consists of a corn tortilla stuffed with meat, vegetables and spicy ingredients. In Panama, Guacho is a dish based on rice and green beans, cooked in a thick soup of vegetables, meat, yucca, yams and cilantro. 

A common characteristic is the rice and corn-based dishes, which are widespread throughout the continent; the former was a contribution from other cultures and the latter is indigenous. In Venezuela, you can taste the corn-based Arepa, a traditional dish of exquisite flavor and excellent quality that can be found in every corner.

The tweet reads, “Ropa vieja, moros y cristianos, tostones de plátano and yuca al mojo! Latin American gastronomy has a very special place in the kitchens of the “Instituto Gastronómico de Mérida,” since it has the subject of American Regional Cuisine.”

Colombia, according to specialists, has one of the most dynamic cuisines in Latin America, which combines an amazing amount of flavors, mixed with spices, even reminiscent of Arabian cuisine. Today we highlight the Pan de yuca or Pandebono, which as its name suggests, its main ingredient is yucca or manioc, another Latin contribution to the world. It is usually eaten in the morning or as a snack before lunch. 

Brazil, due to its geographical extension, has an infinite number of typical dishes. Moqueca, a dish based on fish and seafood, tomato, onion, garlic, coriander and coconut milk, is consumed almost everywhere in the country.

In the Caribbean region, Cuba has one of the unique cuisines, with a wide variety of dishes such as ajiaco, ropa vieja, with beef as the main ingredient, as well as casabe, a dish originating from the aboriginal tradition. 

Finally, in the so-called southern cone of Latin America, which includes countries such as Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina, we find typical dishes such as the famous asados, a dish that stands out even in international cuisine. Based on beef, it is enjoyed with family or friends, and is ideal for days of celebration or family gatherings.

Latin American and Caribbean cuisine is, without a doubt, an explosion of flavors, colors and smells. Many traditions have been combined to give shape to dishes that today constitute elements of identity of the countries of origin, in full connection with their ancestral roots.

Autor: teleSUR/ OSG

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